The Biltmore Visit That Almost Wasn’t
I will tell you more about this wonderful home when you host a party! I almost didn’t make my first planned excursion there (more on that later), but thankfully I did. I had a fabulous time hearing the stories of the home. Here are some details to lure you in …
The Biltmore Estate Home
- Built in the 1880s, it is the largest privately-owned home in the United States
- It has 175,000 square feet and featuring 250 rooms
- It was fully self-sustaining, with all food for the guests and family grown and raised on the land
- Some of the ingredients for the resort restaurants are still grown on property
- The home contains a bowling alley (one of the first) and a modern exercise room (for the era)
- It has an indoor swimming pool that is quite deep, holding 70,000 gallons of water
- The gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect of Central Park
- After George Washington Vanderbilt died in 1914 of complications from an emergency appendectomy, his widow, Edith Stuyvesant Vanderbilt, known for her entrepreneurial spirit, began to develop the home into a profit center
- The home was named after BILT in the surname, and MORE for the abundance of the land
- George’s bedroom wallpaper is lined covered in gilded 24 ct. gold!
The Vanderbilt history is fascinating – especially how wealthy they were in those days, starting several generations before George, who built the home. (Apparently, George’s great-great grandfather had an estimated worth of 200 billion in today’s money and his great grandfather doubled that fortune.)
The tour made the Biltmore Inspirations line come alive to me, and more excited about it! I can’t wait for you to see how the products are inspired from the home, and all the gorgeous things I just unpacked from my starter kit that just arrived!
It also helped my family understand what I have been doing for the last few months in preparing to launch my Biltmore business (especially my husband)!
Now, I had been excited to see the Biltmore Home even before I joined the team of consultants and started building my Biltmore Inspirations team. My family had already planned a vacation on Lake Lure – just an hour from Asheville and the Biltmore. It was on my list of things to do. Then I heard about this opportunity and joined. So, I felt it was a happy accident that all this came together so nicely and that I would see the house BEFORE the launch date. It was meant to be.
Even more fortunate, my friend Donna, who is also my sponsor, lives in Hendersonville – a short drive from Ashville. So I was excited to see her. She and I planned to meet there on Thursday, near the end of our vacation. Before our family trip, I talked about my Biltmore visit all the time. Once at the lake, the family opted to fish rather than come with me. That was fine, it would give me time to really enjoy it.
Then, Wednesday brought with it complaints of ear pain from my daughter. Oh no! This small town doesn’t have medical care, so off to the grocery store pharmacy we went to buy swimmer’s ear medicine.
Later in the day, at 7pm, she doubled over on my bed in more pain.
What is a mother to do? I was soooo excited about my day trip the next day, but this was obviously more important.
I e-mailed a quick note to Donna, put a call into our family doctor after hours care, and Googled for doctors. Only one came up in the town. As I read about his practice, he had been the doctor there for 53 years, and is 88 years old!
As a Mom, you think, well … what would you think? After hearing early Thursday that our doctor would not prescribe anything without an office visit, I had to either drive over an hour to urgent care or give the 88-year-old doctor a call. Biltmore was off.
So, when you are in a small town, do what the locals do, right? I called the doctor. I didn’t need an appointment, “We see ‘em as they come,” he said. As for insurance, he doesn’t take it (but will file with your provider). Once I got past the 1950s office décor and the working typewriter still in use, I was pleasantly surprised by the charm of the experience. He was a lovely man, rooted in tradition, and practicing real medicine. The ear infection diagnosed, we got our medicine, all better now!
With Thursday gone, I still had Friday! Donna had cancelled, but the family agreed to come.
On Friday, we set off over the mountain on winding roads, past the middle of nowhere. Then we made a gruesome discovery – my 4-year-old son gets really carsick. Yep. His large breakfast was now all over his outfit and seat. We were half way there! What to do …
We spent a few minutes in a church parking lot to clean up, and my son, now only dressed in his underwear, proclaimed he felt better now!
So we all agreed to continue on. Our first stop for clothes, Family Dollar, one exit before Biltmore (in case you ever need it), had just one outfit in his size. Whew! My angels were at work!
Well, was it worth all that effort? For me, it was. The Biltmore Inspirations opportunity is historic. I want to have all the details I need to launch confidently and speak enthusiastically about the brand and provide my team – who may have never been there – with real information.
My perseverance paid off, my family was wonderfully (and oddly) compliant, and the threatening rain that loomed all day held off.
Where there is a will, there is a way!